The Armenian National Assembly ratified on 26 February 2008 a loan agreement worth US$10 million between the Armenian government and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates).
The Chairman of the State Water Resource Management Committee Andranik Andreasian, said that the funds were being raised for irrigation system reconstruction at the Arpa-Sevan tunnel. The loan agreement was signed on 12 December 2007, during the visit of President Robert Kocharian to Abu Dhabi. The terms of the agreement stipulate that the funds will be provided over 15 years at 5% annual interest rate and a grace period for first five years.
The Arpa-Sevan tunnel is Armenia's major irrigation system covering a distance of around 50 kilometers. The main work on the tunnel will focus on its second section, which covers a distance of 30 kilometers and connects Yeghin Gorge with Lake Sevan. The tunnel's reconstruction will improve Armenia's irrigation system, as well as environmental conditions in the area surrounding Lake Sevan.
“The project is planned to be launched in 2008”, Andreasian said, adding that "construction of communications, railways and electric power supplying facilities are planned".
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development has funded in 2004 the Baku bypass highway in neighboring Azerbaijan.
Sources: Azad-Hye, Interfax (Russia), Arka (Armenia), 26 February 2008.
Photo: Armenia and UAE sign five agreements (Foreign Ministers of both countries Vartan Oskanian and Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan during the signing ceremony on 12 December 2007, Abu Dhabi).
ARMENIA AND UAE SIGN FIVE AGREEMENTS
Armenia and UAE signed on 12 December 2007 five agreements to enhance joint cooperation in areas of foreign policy, agriculture, culture, tourism and transportation. The two Foreign Ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for establishing a mechanism for political consultation and coordination on bilateral relations as well as on regional and international issues of mutual concern.
Oskanian and UAE's Minister of Environment and Water Dr. Mohammed Saeed Al Kindi concluded an agreement for agricultural cooperation. Oskanian also inked a 10 million dollars loan agreement with Ahmed Sari Al Mazrouei, director general of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development for rehabilitating a Arpa-Sevan tunnel in Armenia.
The two countries struck an agreement for cooperation in tourism and another one for establishing embassies was also initialed.
ABU DHABI FUND FOR DEVELOPMENT
The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has extended assistance and grants to fifty two developing countries across the world.
Since its inception in 1971, US$ 7 billion has been used to finance 258 projects in Arab, African, Asian and European countries.
The financial assistance is made available in the form of concessionary loans, grants and direct investments offered with a low rate of interest, lengthy period of repayment and a long grace period. A typical loan is repayable in 8 to 20 years and carries an interest rate at 3 to 6 per cent with a grace period of 3 to 8 years.
In line with the policy adopted by the ADFD to facilitate sustainable development in recipient countries, its emphasis has been on projects that upgrade infrastructure (roads, airports, seaports, water, electricity, communications, agriculture and housing), improve health and educational services and generate employment opportunities.
Website of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development: http://www.adfd.ae/